SEMINAR ON GENERAL CHAPTER WITH SR. MARIAN AMBROSIO
AND IT CAME AS A GREAT LIGHT!
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery in Brazil, were blessed by God, on October 16th to have Sr. Márian Ambrosio, DP who gave enlightened us with tenderness and wisdom by her talk. The sisters were connected via Zoom platform for this wonderful and challenging message.
We started our seminar by exchanging our greetings, smiles and pleasure of seeing one another whom we had not seen for some time. 77 computers connected around 200 sisters, for many of them participated as a community for this seminar. All of us were very eager to hear the inspirational words of the resource person.
After an inspirational prayer service, Sr. Márian was invited to give her talk. Sr. Marian invited us to be the see and the sower, remembering that the grain has to die in order to germinate in favourable conditions and bear fruit to serve others. The striking figure used for teaching was a Pine tree. The upward growth of the shoot and the downward growth of the root are of the same proportion in a Pine tree. This analogy helps us to reflect: “What are the foundations/ roots of my convictions?” “How firm are my roots?” Our process is not linear.
WHO IS THE ANGEL BY MY SIDE?
All the Sisters of St. Joseph were enchanted, when Sr. Marian described about the dreams of St. Joseph. He could sleep because he had an angel of God who surrounded and revealed to him the Will of God. St. Joseph had been given the mission to protect and defend the life of a woman and a child, have an experience of being a refugee, living far from his own homeland, friends and profession that sustained his life. Therefore, he had to start a life afresh.
Sr. Marian invited each one of us to try to be an angel for one another like the angel of St. Joseph who was always with him to help him to carry out his mission to protect “the child and his mother”. Who is the angel beside me? And I, do I have the posture of St. Joseph?
Referring to the General Chapter theme of 2021, Sr. Marian challenged us to live the theme namely: “Communities immersed in the Spirit, connected to the world” and asked us “What is the call of this theme for us? A person immersed in the Spirit dreams of something higher, of the future, wants to dive deeper and radiate the spirit of Communion.
WHO IS THE SPIRIT?
Sr. Marian continued to question us: “What do the vibrant colours of the logo tell us? Who is the Spirit? It is the divine being of the Trinity that blows all the time; it is the Person present in the world as an Advocate and air that surrounds us which we breathe to live. "Listen o Israel," it is necessary to submerge in the Spirit. Listening to the Word of God, to one another and the calls of reality are fundamental to Consecrated Religious Life. We need to listen with our heart, hands and eyes. Listening is an automatic action. Listening is an attitude.
Based on Genesis chapter 18, Sr. Marian to introduced us to an icon of Lucy d’Souza and invited us to look at the colours of the Angels and compare them with those of Abraham and Sarah. We perceived the intercultural embrace of colours. Our God is approachable, who visits us. God also visits our General Chapter. And who do we visit? How do we visit? How do we approach our brothers and sisters and how do we identify with them?
AN ENCOURAGEMENT FOR "MORE"
Finally, Sr. Marian very skilfully helped us to reflect on Rhizomatic and Kingdomcentric Religious Life. A Religious Life is capable of being root that multiplies other roots. This process does not take place on the surface. Kingdomcentric: to be the sign of the Kingdom as leaven. The vows of Obedience, Chastity and Poverty have their value if they are lived for the Kingdom and proclamation of the Kingdom of God. We need to grow as a person and community. “See how they love each other!”
Two questions made us reflect:
- Who am I to Jesus?
- Who is Jesus to me?
We are people called, accepted and loved to live the Charism of Communion which impels us to serve God in our sisters and brothers. This is the fundamental reason for our life as Sisters of St. Joseph: to live and witness to the charism which has no end.
Our thanks to the Provincial Council for this rich and inspiring seminar which helped us to reflect on the essentials of Religious Life.
Sister Ires Lídia Grandi, Caxias do Sul